After a good two all draw between Sporting Lisbon & Tottenham Hotspur it was time for the home team to face another Premiership side in Manchester City. You would think after a pathetic performance against Sporting Lisbon Man City would be ready to go and be hungry for a game against the inform MLS side. Well early on that wasn’t the case as the combination of Dane Richards and Macoumba Kandji would work well together and showed their stuff.
It would be an early goal for New York as Dane Richards attacked the near side of the area and got past Wayne Bridge to set up a great cross to the center of the park. In the 7th minute a sliding Kandji would tap the ball in top shelf and Red Bull Arena erupted with joy for the early one goal to nil lead. All throughout the first half with Thierry Henry the Red Bulls looked like the stronger side and once again it looked like City wasn’t showing up.
But in the start of the second half City did show some life and tried to give a match against New York. Once again Henry would only play the opening 45 minutes and then sit on the bench. It was in the 55th minute where Greg Cunningham attacked down the far side and made a good cross to Jo Silva who made a cheeky stab and got the ball past Bouna Coundoul for the equalizer. The visiting City fans cheered but that would be the only time they would stand up in this short four day tournament.
Once again the Kandji/Richards tandem would meet up for another goal. Kandji attacks down the near side and crossed a quick ball to Richards who was just outside the City area. As soon as he settled the ball, Dane ripped a laser that nailed the bottom of the crossbar, over the goal line and bounced hard inside the top part of the net. That fantastic shot reminded me of that same play against Santos when Kandji feed a great ball to Richards and torched the near upper ninety on March 20th. That has now been labeled as the Santos Specialty.
Ever since Thierry Henry was signed to the Red Bulls, you knew there would be a heavy contingent of Arsenal supporters in the tri-state area to watch their favorite player of years gone by, but when Emmanuel Adebayor touched the ball there was a bunch of loud boos coming from the crowd who never forgot his goal celebration in front of them when he started to play for Man City. But the eventual winners of the first ever Barclays New York Challenge would be Portugal’s sporting Lisbon as they took home the trophy, a win, a draw and four goals scored (A goal also counts as a point) along with a clean sheet against Man City.
So for this inaugural season of the Barclays NY Challenge I believe it has been a good success. Obviously using the quick word about Red Bull Arena and playing near the greatest city in the world, it would be pretty cool to see other clubs sides coming over from Europe, South American and even the clubs from Mexico would be a good draw. But for now, thank goodness the league season will resume this coming Saturday.